March 8, 2006

Harvard Business School Working Knowledge has an interesting article, “Is Your Organization Reptile or Mammal?”, by Jonathan Byrnes.

The author tries to build an analogy categorizing the organization as reptile or mammal as far as customer and supplier relationships are concerned. It has many relevant insights that managers and business leaders can find practically useful.

The article is built on detailed analysis of two fundamental aspects – reproduction and metabolism – in which reptiles and mammals differ from each other. It, then, tries to categorize organizations as reptiles or mammals based on how their strategies address the organizational equivalent of reproduction and metabolism in managing customer and supplier relationships.

The article touches following points:

  1. Should organizations go for too many relationships and scatter their resources in the hope that some turn out to be profitable enough to sustain the business profitably?
  2. Should organizations develop a few solid relationships and concentrate their resources on them?
  3. Should organizations be dependent on their environment for survival?
  4. Should organizations proactively control their environment?

Some really thought provoking ideas!

1 comments

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